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Great Yarmouth man Ricky Turner found guilty of being involved in arson attack at former workplace

PUBLISHED: 09:57 30 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:14 30 June 2017

Police at the scene of the fire in Swanston Road. Picture Archant.

Police at the scene of the fire in Swanston Road. Picture Archant.

Archant

A man accused of having hatched a plan to burn down his former workplace has been warned he faces jail after being found guilty.

Police at the scene of the fire in Swanston Road. Picture Archant. Police at the scene of the fire in Swanston Road. Picture Archant.

Ricky Turner, 57, who formerly worked for SPX Ltd in Great Yarmouth, was alleged to have put up Aaron Cockrell to carry out the arson which caused £250,000 worth of damage and about £600,000 of losses to the company.

Turner, of Lawn Avenue, Great Yarmouth, had denied being involved in the arson attack on SPX between February 12 and February 15, in 2015.

But a jury of seven women and four men found him guilty by a majority of 10-1 after almost 14 hours of deliberations.

Turner, who shook his head, after the verdict was announced was told to “prepare yourself for custody” by Judge Anthony Bate.

Judge Bate adjourned sentence for a date to be fixed and said Turner would be on a tagged bail and curfew until then.

Turner will be sentenced on the same date as Cockrell, 41, of Yarmouth Road, Ormesby St Margaret, who had already admitted arson.

The court had heard Turner was behind the attack on the Swanston Road-based firm as he was angry at being dismissed by the company after many years of service.

Richard Kelly, prosecuting, had said Turner crept into the offices while the cleaner was in the building and turned off the alarm system, before leaving a door unbolted.

He said Cockrell then let himself in during the early hours through the door left insecure by Turner and a fire was started.

Mr Kelly said that luckily a taxi driver was passing as the fire began and he raised the alarm.

During the course of the trial, Mr Kelly said: “Turner did not want to do the dirty work himself. He recruited the services of Aaron Cockrell to do it for him, but it did require some involvement from this defendant. He was able to use the knowledge he had over the many years of employment at the company.”

Mr Kelly said Turner was upset with SPX because they had dismissed him after many years of employment and he had also tried to take them to an employment tribunal, but it had ruled against him.

Mr Kelly said the blaze was tackled but caused £250,000 worth of damage and a total losses caused to the company of about £600,000.

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